Drivers’ hours rules are changing in Great Britain (GB), with new penalties being introduced for driving tired. Below is a simple explanation of the new rules.
What are drivers’ hours rules?
If you drive a truck, bus or coach, there are rules on how many hours you can drive and guidance on taking breaks. Drivers caught breaking the rules can be fined up to £300 by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). They can also be prosecuted or have their vehicle immobilised.
How are drivers’ hours rules changing?
Currently (up to 4 March, 2018), the DVSA can only fine drivers for offences committed that day and for ongoing offences like manipulating tachograph records. From Monday 5 March 2018, drivers can be fined for older offences. In a single roadside check, DVSA traffic examiners will be able to issue fines for up to five drivers’ hours offences. For drivers who have consistently broken the rules this could mean a fine of up to £1,500 in a single check.
Do the rules apply to drivers who don’t live in GB?
Yes. Foreign drivers caught breaking the rules in GB will have to pay any fines immediately, before being allowed to continue their journey.
What happens if drivers’ hours rules are broken outside of GB?
The driver can still be fined when caught – it doesn’t matter where offences take place.
What are the rules for rest breaks?
Truck, bus and coach drivers are required to take a 45-hour rest break at least every fortnight. DVSA traffic examiners have already started issuing fines to deal with drivers who don’t properly rest. This includes drivers who spend their rest break in the cab of their vehicle where it could cause a problem.
Click here for the DVSA’s guide to drivers’ hours rules.